Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Ash Wednesday’

Stations of the Cross – Multimedia for Lent

Loyola Press has prepared a wonderful multimedia stations of the cross* for children.  There is a PDF document that you can download and/or print out.  In addition, there is a wonderful multimedia meditation with music and images that could be shared with your families or used in your classroom with your students.

Let’s just brainstorm quickly how you could use this multimedia presentation:

  1. Email the families of the children in your program or class. Encourage parents to share the stations prayer with their children.   Include a short invitation to your parish Stations of the Cross that will be held at your parish during Lent. Remember to include the link of this meditation in your email message.  Link:
  2. Open or close your class (or meeting) with the online meditation.  If you do not have access to the Internet, you can download a copy of the PDF file to your computer showing the meditation on your computer screen and/or projecting the image on a screen using a LCD projector.  Invite different students to say the prayer for each station.  You may want to have a CD Player with an appropriate choice of music in the background.
  3. If you do not have a way to show the multimedia presentation, print the meditation out and go over to your church.  You can distribute a copy of the prayer for each of the stations to the students and as you proceed from station to station, the student can read the prayer for the group.

To engage the students in being very involved in creating their stations of the cross, once you have a printed copy of the meditation distribute the sections of the meditation to small groups and/or individual students.  Invite them to create their own images for the station using any variety of media – pens, markers, crayons, etc.  Invite them to bring their drawings to class.  Collect the images and ask a high school student to scan the images for you.  Once they are in a Digital format, work with your webmaster to add the stations that have been created by your students to the parish website.

If students have access to a computer either in the classroom or at home, direct them to a shared folder using Google Docs – Presentation.  If you need information about this Google option, go to (GDocs Presentation ) or Google Docs Tutorial.  If you are interested in embedding this presentation into your blog, go to Embedding Google Docs in Your Blog Posts ) .

Of course there are other tools that you can use to create an image of the Station that you have been assigned.  For those using mobile tools (especially the iPad), you may want to encourage your families to work on creating their own Stations of the Cross with their children.  For the types of tools to recommend to your families, go to – Top 10 Apps for Digital Storytelling.  Often these tools will allow you to share links of completed projects with others.  You can ask your families to email to you the links of their meditations.  These links can then be included on your websites and/or blogs.

If you are looking for other Stations of the Cross Meditations, either for your classroom or to suggest to your families, you may want to explore:

Children’s Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross Carousel

Stations of the Cross for Teens

You Tube Videos – Stations of the Cross – A puppet version of the Stations of the Cross. The puppet show is created by Jesuit Brother Edward Sheehy.

Would love to hear your stories and ideas of how you are using online videos and involving your students this Lent using electronic tools.

If you like this article, click the “Like” button or add your comment to this blog.  Or, forward to others who are interested in Stations of the Cross with their children.

* The stations images are from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Inc., Hanceville, Alabama as shown in the Loyola Press website article “Multimedia Stations of the Cross for Children”?

(c)2012,  Caroline Cerveny

What “Penance” for Lent?

Jonathan Sullivan has invited all Catholic bloggers to write on the theme of “Penance” for Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012!

As I reflected on what I wanted to do with this theme, I thought about how we change from simply doing “penance” by giving up candy, pop, chocolate and more to really understanding what “penance” we are called to do in the complicated world we live in during this season of reflecting on the life, suffering, and death of Jesus!

I’m inviting high school teachers and catechists to engage their students in a reflection and response to the question – What “Penance” for Lent?

Here are suggested steps to integrate technology into a lesson with your high school students:

  1. Direct your students to read the American Catholic article LENT: FASTING FOR THE FEAST by Jim Wilwerding.
  2. Invite the students as they read the article to “highlight or underline” the sentence(s) or phrase(s) in the article that help them to understand what “penance” (or fasting) means. (They may want to print out the article.)
  3. As they identify the phrases, use a highlighter or underline them to mark the phrases that answer the question – Why Penance?
  4. Then ask the students to look back over the highlighted or underlined material.  Read through the phrases to achieve a deeper understanding and answer the questions – What “Penance” for Lent?  Why “Penance” for Lent?
  5. Then invite the students to write a dialogue between two persons – where one person is responding to questions and comments from another person about – What “Penance” for Lent? (See example below)
  6. Introduce an online moviemaking tool – Dvolver – to your students by showing them how they can create an animation movie with their script.  Check out the example – What Penance?
  7. Remind the students with this tool that their text is limited to 100 text characters for character’s lines.   Also, you can only develop three scenes.
  8. If you are using the Dvolver Moviemaking Tool, carefully consider your dialogue as you are limited to100 text characters per line.

For example:

Scene 1:

  • Mary: I’m not sure what it means to sharpen my senses and renew my perspective – on life, on faith.
  • George: During Lent, when we do “Penance,” we are really learning more about ourselves and others.
  • Mary: That seems so meaningless!
  • George: Well maybe.  I’ve learned that if I fast from music to prepare for the feast of a concert,. . .
  • George:  I hear the music differently.

Scene 2:

  • Mary: I never thought about doing that!
  • George: When I’m at the concert, I do hear the music differently than if I had listened all week to the group.
  • Mary: I’ll try that the next time I go to a concert.
  • George: Great! You will be learning what “penance” is about.  That is giving up something in order to improve what you see and hear!

Scene 3:

  • Mary: In this case, to appreciate the group’s music
  • George: Right!  So during lent, when we do Penance, we’re really preparing for the feast of Easter!
  • Mary: My life is so busy right now.  Maybe I need to simplify what I’m involved in.
  • George:  If you simplify, you will have time to pay attention to ….

Once they’ve completed the dialogue, then go to – Dvolver MovieMaker .  This is a Web 2.0 tool that will allow you to create an animated movie that you can easily share with others.  However, it will only allow you to create Three (3) Scenes.  See the example.

When the students have created their animation story, they will have the opportunity to send the link of their animation to you and others.  (Note:  If you have a class blog, you can incorporate this activity into the blog.  As students create their stories, then they can include their animation movies as a Response to your post.  Or, you may want to post them all on one page and invite your students, parents, and friends to vote for the most meaningful animation story.

(c) 2012 Caroline Cerveny

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